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Oh that awful ich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted By: thomas b waltzek <waltzek@neuro.fsu.edu>
Date: Saturday, 5 September 1998, at 2:50 a.m.

My recently acquired B. histronica came down with ich about 5 days ago. But, the battle has been won. I thought I'd share with the loach world what worked for me this time and what has and has not worked in the past. First, I set the tank up (55 g) specifically for B. hist and did not cycle it before introducing the fish. However, I've been pretty successful using preseeded filter media to skip the nitrogen cyle in the past (lots of trial and error). Anyway, I used a preseeded biowheel, several mature tetra foam filters, and a nitrifying bacteria booster to get things started. I measured ammonia and nitrites daily. From day 1 till today there has never been any ammonia. Very low levels of nitrites have persisted nearly since day 1 (the lit. says that nitrobacter sp. have more trouble getting started than nitrosomonas which break ammonia into nitrites). Anyway, they got ich and I immediately noticed it and headed for the pet store for medicine. I used jungel ich cure 1 at half strength for 4 daily treatments followed by 25% water changes daily as recommended (this kept the nitrites at nil). On the last two days, having run out of the 1st medication, I found a petstore with ich cure 2 (for loaches and other scaleless fish). I also raised the temp. to 84 F from the getgo. Anyway, things never got out of hand and by the 4th day the glancing /rubbing had nearly ceased. Today there are no signs of further problems. The moral of the story is skipping the nitrogen cycle completely in my experience is difficult. Everybody knows not to try to cycle a tank with loaches (good thinking tom!). I think I was successful treating for the following reasons: early and correct diagnosis (real tough-big pat on the back for me), raised the temperature which alone can cure the disease if caught in the early stages, water changes reduced motile life stage of the parasite, and because I used a little of that JL/JD voodoo. Anyway, I treated my first group of loaches (clowns and darios) many years ago it seems with copper sulfate (Doh!) No actually it cured everybody with the exception of 1 dario which died not to ich in my estimation but to the shock of the copper (they went crazy when I put it in so I did 50% water change). Following that I did nothing else and the residual copper got rid of the rest of the ich (I only know 1 guy who suggests to use copper on scaleless fish-I wonder if he suggests copper for a reef tank also?- Alright that was below the belt). Anyway, the only other problem I've had was an outbreak of freshwater odinium (velvet) 1 time. Used acriflavine and lost the battle with a nice pair of 3" clowns. JL/JD your ebola-like (fast acting) bacterial infection stories scare the living hell out of me. I don't know what I do if I lost any of my 6 year old 6" clowns to any disease. I'll end this verbose message with the following: I scanned in many photos of nigrolineata, eos, rostrata? today-it was easy like everybody said. I've got alot more work before I send the stuff to Jeff but look for those pics next week-Tom

P.S. Never say ich three times in a row around any tank with loaches or they'll invariably have ich the next morning- like candyman, candyman, candyma.......

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